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The nvelope plugin is the perfect tool for shaping transients with your DAW. Just a few knobs give you the full power over the attack and sustain characteristics of single instruments or even complex audio material. Classic transient processing, selective enhancements in Dual Band mode, plus a mastering-grade shelf EQ – the nvelope plugin has got it all.
Do you already know, that the Founder and CEO of elysia, Ruben Tilgner, invented the Transient Designer | Transient Shaper Technology in the late 90s? He’s the only one who developed Transient Shaper Hardware until today. That shows how complex this Technology is! Read the complete Blogpost >here
The nvelope plugin comes with a few optimizations which were not possible on the hardware for technological reasons or space constraints, further improving the workflow on the DAW.
The three different modes can be toggled with a single button instead of the two button matrix, and the lettering of the controllers changes accordingly.
Also, the plugin version features an additional gain trimmer which could not be placed on the panel of the original hardware, which is a welcome addition to the Auto Gain function.
Full Range Mode
The nvelope is a powerful audio processor capable of making subtle or drastic changes to a sound by providing control over its attack and sustain characteristics. This is extremely useful for reshaping all sorts of individual tones, and is a wonderful tool in any mixing situation as well.
The nvelope operates independently of the specific level of a signal, and (unlike with compressors) you do not have to spend a lot of time trying to balance a set of complex controls to quickly get the results you seek.
Full Range mode is especially fast and easy to use, as all you need to do is dial in more or less attack and sustain by turning their specific controllers to the left (reduction) or to the right (increase).
Similar to a compressor and unlike in Dual Band mode, you can use the SC A controller to reduce the influence of low frequencies on the attack processing (higher frequency = less bass influence).
Dual Band Mode
The unique Dual Band mode of the nvelope takes you to the next level of impulse shaping. The attack and sustain parameters become much more flexible by selectively processing a certain frequency range chosen by the user.
The Freq A controller now sets the start frequency for attack processing, while the Freq S controller determines the end frequency for sustain processing. The function of the Attack and Sustain controllers remains the same as in Full Range mode.
So it is pretty likely you’ll find yourself using the Dual Band mode in any situation where you would like to adapt the way the nvelope processes more individually and on material which tends to produce unwanted artifacts in Full Range mode.
Generally speaking, Dual Band mode gives you more distinct processing options and the possibility to even cope with complex material like a summing bus.
A very nice side effect of the topology of the nvelope is that it can also be used as a shelving filter. This is achieved by temporarily deactivating its dynamics sections while keeping the filter stages active.
Freq H now sets the frequency of the high shelf filter, while Gain H determines the amount of cut (turn left) or boost (turn right) in this band. Similarly, Freq L sets the frequency of the low shelf filter and Gain L determines the amount of cut or boost.
Boosting the attack in Full Range mode can sometimes result in some pretty huge level peaks. These can make your processed signal sound uneven, and in the worst case they will create the nasty kind of distortion you don’t want.
The nvelope solves this very conveniently with the Auto Gain function. This simple button makes the impulse shaper automatically compensate stronger level peaks, so this can be the solution for many level-related issues caused by the attack processing.
By the way, Auto Gain is typically not needed in Dual Band or in EQ operation and is therefore not offered in these modes.
Transferring a complex analog hardware into digital code is not exactly trivial, especially if the model is a completely discrete design like the alpha compressor.
The first important task in a project like this is to fragment the electronic circuitry into separate functional blocks. These blocks are translated into software step by step after which they are united to become a functioning prototype.
This first result is measured very accurately and then compared to the hardware, which leads to an extensive and very detailed matching process. The work on the graphical user interface (photography, retouching, rendering) takes place at the same time.
The final stage is the calibration of the behavior of all the controllers in order to give the software the ‘feel’ of the real thing. Finally, the finished code is ported to different plugin interfaces (RTAS/VST/AU/TDM/AAX…) and packed into installation routines.
The nvelope plugin benefits from higher sample rates in two ways: In the first place, it can react to changes in the source signal faster, which is especially important if a short attack time is set. Secondly, the generated virtual control voltage and therefore the compression behavior of the compressor becomes more precise because there are more measuring points available.
The plugin employs the oversampling technique in order to enjoy these advantages even if lower sample rates are used. This means that the basic sample rate of a project is multiplied by a certain factor inside the plugin without the need to set the complete project to a higher frequency.
This method consumes a certain amount of CPU power, but the acoustic result speaks for itself. The alpha compressor plugin uses oversampling according to the following rules:
- Project sample rate lower than 50 kHz: 4x oversamplin
- Project sample rate lower than 100 kHz: 2x oversampling
- Project sample rate higher than 100 kHz: no oversampling
You do not necessarily have to click and drag the controllers of the alpha compressor. Instead, try making your settings with the alternative mousewheel control without clicking on the specific controller first. The following shortcuts provide some further comfort:
VST: Shift + mouse wheel
AU: Shift + mouse wheel
RTAS/TDM: Ctrl/Cmd + mouse wheel
VST: Ctrl/Cmd + mouse click
AU: Alt + mouse click
RTAS/TDM: Alt + mouse click
“The nvelope blows open all sorts of creative options that have not been available to me using traditional dynamic tools. For a mixer like me that is crazy about manipulating dynamics, the nvelope brings things to a whole new level.”
“I think the elysia nvelope is a game changer. I use the hardware every time I track and I just started to use the software in the mix. It’s a great, unique tool that I find indispensable.”
The nvelope plugin is available for MacOS and Windows in 32 and 64 bits. The following formats are supported: AAX DSP, AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, AU, VST2 and VST3.